New PARK MAUI program would charge visitors to park at Maui’s most visited areas
Mayor Michael Victorino is inviting interested Maui County residents to participate in two virtual meetings on Aug. 24, to hear the community’s thoughts and suggestions about plans for “PARK MAUI,” a new parking management program for beach parks, business districts and streets in Maui’s most heavily visited areas.
Virtual public meetings are scheduled: 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24. The online meeting link will be available on Aug. 22, at www.parkmaui.com
“Our vision is to ensure residents have free access to shorelines, beaches and parks while non-residents pay to park in these places. The revenue generated by this program will fund operational expenses and may also be used to fund facility improvements, cultural preservation, environmental protection, and beach restoration efforts,” he said.
National parking expert, Julie Dixon, president of Dixon Resources Unlimited, has been contracted to help establish the framework of the PARK MAUI program. “Having assisted many other tourist destinations, we often hear about the feeling of being ‘squeezed out’ by visitors. Managing parking can go a long way towards regaining access to your own ‘local spots,’” said Dixon in a county issued press release. “Parking should be easy, convenient and accessible for the local community, while allowing visitors into Maui’s special places on the residents’ terms.”
PARK MAUI will be implemented in two phases:
- During Phase One, regional stakeholders participated in focus groups to identify sites where parking solutions are needed. Next, the County will seek input from the wider community and implement pilot projects at Ulua/Mokapu Beach and the Kamaʻole Beach Parks in South Maui. These parks were chosen for the ease of installing parking equipment on-site. The County will evaluate the pilot projects and consider additional community feedback to further refine the program. The results will be used to expand PARK MAUI to other beach parks as timing, funding and permitting allow. The County of Maui anticipates launching the Phase One pilot program in early 2023.
- Phase Two will involve pilot projects in Lahaina and Wailuku. These towns were chosen for the large numbers of employees competing with residents, visitors and businesses for limited parking. The County will seek community input into how these pilot programs should be structured. Possible solutions include charging non-residents for parking while offering 1-2 hours of free resident parking and/or discounted parking for residents and/or designated parking for area employees.
Focus Group member Kai Nishiki has long advocated for the County to implement a parking program at County beach parks. “I am thankful to Mayor Victorino for putting the community first in the PARK MAUI program,” Nishiki said. “Making it easy for local families to enjoy our beaches and parks is the right priority and I look forward to getting this program started and expanding it throughout Maui so residents can feel welcome in their own backyards again.”
To take an online survey about PARK MAUI, for details about the virtual public meetings on Aug. 24, and to find FAQs and more information, visit www.parkmaui.com.